Youngster’s charity bake-off to raise cash for hospice

Josh Ferguson at work in the kitchen with mum Eilidh Mears. Picture: Toby Williams
Josh Ferguson at work in the kitchen with mum Eilidh Mears. Picture: Toby Williams
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AN eight-year-old schoolboy, who has never baked before, is set to host a charity cake sale – using secret family recipes passed on to him by his great aunt before she died.

Josh Ferguson, from Baberton, will be holding an afternoon tea in memory of his beloved great-aunt Maureen, who died in January after losing a battle with motor neurone disease (MND).

Before she passed away, Maureen gifted Josh a book full of family recipes, some of which had been passed down through the generations.

Now the kind-hearted Juniper Green Primary School pupil is using the book in his quest to raise money for the Marie Curie Hospice, which looked after Maureen during her final months.

Josh grew very close to his great aunt in the final stages of her illness, spending much of his free time visiting her.

Born in Saughton, Maureen lived in Edinburgh most of her life, working in IT before retiring early due to ill-health. She had been diagnosed with degenerative MND in July last year.

Josh will be holding his charity bake sale at Currie Community Centre on Saturday and has already managed to raise £285 from advance donations – a sum he hopes to at least double.

Mum Eilidh said that Maureen had meant a great deal to Josh.

She said: “He really began to speak for her in a lot of ways, and helped with her care.

“Towards the end, she lost her ability to swallow, to even speak.

“Josh would walk through the door and Maureen’s whole face would light up – she was always delighted to see him.

“When she lost the ability to eat solids, Josh would always make sure he brought her smoothies and bought her some of her favourite CDs for Christmas.”

Josh was desperate to do something to help out, so met with the Marie Curie fundraising team.

Eilidh said: “Josh went in there regularly and just thought they were such happy people who were taking such care of his great aunt. So he wanted to do something for him and repay their kindness.

“He wanted to raise money for Marie Currie because then people would be able to get the benefits right away.

“When he told Maureen, she told Josh about this book of recipes she had that he could use.

“It became more like something they organised together before she passed in January.”

The event, which started as a relatively small one, now has more than 200 expected attendees, and will sell a variety of cakes and tray-baked goods, with donated treats from local friends, families and businesses.

Eilidh said: “Josh hasn’t done any kind of baking before – so this will be a whole new thing for him. He’s really looking forward to it.

“He’s meeting his grandmother on Friday afternoon to do all their baking. The event will also have a raffle, tombola and an auction.”